Another One Down: Cardinal Sweeps Second Straight Top-Five Opponent
Sept. 28, 2007
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford's power-hitting trio put on another memorable show, and, for the second night in a row, the Stanford women's volleyball team made defeating a top-five opponent look easy. Just 24 hours after sweeping No. 4 USC, the No. 2 Cardinal handled No. 5 UCLA in similar fashion, sweeping the Bruins, 30-20, 30-23, 31-29 in front of a season-high crowd at Maples Pavilion. Stanford (14-0, 3-0) remained undefeated with the win, while UCLA (13-2, 3-1) was handed just its second loss of the year.
Freshman Alix Klineman once again put on a show for the nearly 5,000 fans in attendance. The outside hitter pounded 19 kills, and registered a career-high 19 digs for her third double-double of the year. Junior outside hitter Cynthia Barboza stepped up in the clutch for Stanford, and finished with her eighth double-double of the year (11 kills, 17 digs), while senior setter Bryn Kehoe also recorded her eighth (51 assists, 17 digs). Junior middle blocker rounded out the Cardinal attack with 12 kills and six blocks.
Stanford put up back-to-back blocks and won the match's first four points, causing UCLA Head Coach Andy Banachowski to burn a timeout just four points in. The Bruins got their first two points out of the timeout, but a barrage of kills from the middle by Franci Girard and Akinradewo, combined with a series of UCLA hitting errors, allowed Stanford to run further away from the Bruins. The Cardinal went on an 8-2 rampage to take a 12-4 lead, and, within minutes, back-to-back Barboza kills had stretched the lead to double-digits, 17-7. A pair of Akinradewo blocks followed Barboza's onslaught, and the lead quickly became 12 at 19-7, then 14 at 24-10 on a kill by Erin Waller. UCLA showed a bit of its potential and climbed back within nine at 28-19, but could come no closer. A Bruin hitting error gave Stanford game point, and a missed serve ended the game, 30-20. Klineman led the Cardinal with five kills in the game, while Akinradewo put up four blocks. Stanford out-hit UCLA .341 to .074, marking the third time in four games Stanford held an opponent below .200 hitting.
The Cardinal held onto its momentum to start the second game, racing out to a 7-2 lead behind two more Klineman kills. The Bruins methodically pulled closer, however, then strung together five straight points to find their way into the first tie of the match, 10-10. After one more tie, Klineman and the Cardinal had had enough. The freshman pounded three kills in a four-point span, then put up a block to extend the lead to 16-11. By 20-13, Stanford's lead was seven, and, despite the 6-1 Bruin run that followed, the team had no trouble cruising on to the finish. After the lead was sliced to 21-19, Stanford's line-up of power hitters went on a roll. Barboza, Klineman, Akinradewo and Waller blew a series of balls past the UCLA defense and Stanford took a 26-19 lead. Stanford's sixth team block made it game point at 29-22, and Akinradewo ripped a kill straight to the floor to finish the game, 30-23. Klineman notched ten kills in game two alone, and had her third career double-double taken care of before the game was even over. Stanford out-hit UCLA .362 to .279.
UCLA freshman Juliane Piggott served three consecutive aces to open game three, giving UCLA its first lead of the match. The Bruins increased the lead to 5-1 before Stanford found its rhythm and battled back into the game. Consecutive Akinradewo kills and a pair of UCLA hitting errors put Stanford briefly in front, but UCLA wanted their lead back and took it at 8-7. An ensuing 5-1 run extended the Bruin lead to 13-9, and, initially, Stanford struggled to chip away at it. The Bruin lead hovered between four and five, until 24-19, when the Cardinal strung together three straight points to pull within two, 24-22. Stanford gave away three more points, then lunged back to tie at 27-27. Stanford was called for a net violation to fall behind 28-27, but a Klineman kill and a UCLA error gave Stanford its first game point at 29-28. After one more UCLA point, a Barboza kill gave the Cardinal another shot at game point, and, this time, the squad finished it off. Akinradewo blasted a decisive kill to end Stanford's second sweep of a top-five opponent in 24 hours, 31-29. Barboza had six kills in the final game, and Stanford once again out-hit the Bruins, .254 to .153.
Stanford has defeated UCLA all 13 times the teams have met in John Dunning's tenure. Stanford's 14-straight wins mark the program's best start since 1994, when the team went 32-1 and won its second NCAA title.
Stanford heads north to Oregon next week to take on Oregon State and Oregon in another pair of Pac-10 contests. The squad meets the Beavers in Corvallis on Thursday, before battling the No. 21 Ducks in Eugene on Friday. Both matches are set to begin at 7 p.m.